“Employees First, Customers Second”

I just listened to a TED talk by Vineet Nayar: http://www.tedxaix.com/talks/employees-first-customers-second-vineet-nayar-tedxaix/

Here is a quick introduction to HCL’s “employees first, customers second” in a PDF from the HCL website: https://www.hcltech.com/brochures/corporate/emplyeesfirstminibook 

For too many companies it obviously does not seem reasonable enough to treat their employees this way.

When pondering Vineet Nayar’s ideas again that I first met with a couple of years ago, I thought that the questioning of his perspective might not only be a worrying sign of a lack of true respect for and appreciation of the employees of one’s company and what they mean for it. Looking at it on a deeper level I think it shows a kind of disconnectedness that just because of it favors the caring for the few over the caring for the whole.

Profit is not everything, and “employees first, customers second” should only be a beginning. Enterprises should spend more time thinking about their meaning for larger communities, for a society as a whole and about their impact on the natural world instead of too narrowly just focusing on maximizing profit for the exclusive use of small special interest groups.

Because I deeply believe in an essential position held in ancient Chinese philosophy, i.e. that every external transformation of human systems needs to be based on the process of personal transformation, I see internal personality work as an indispensable starting point for everything else. It is only that in a business environment most people do not see it this way. Of course, this is not only true for executives and a business environment.

This is the reason why I find a focus on body mind work so relevant, and why I with my background particularly focus on Taoist and Buddhist Nei-kung practices. The central text that inspires me, the Tao Te Ching, addressed the leaders of fiefdoms and kingdoms in ancient China. Modern business leaders do often have more power than the dukes and kings addressed in the Tao Te Ching. Wisdom in using this power is, however, often noticeably lacking. Cultivating body and mind for the profit of all is an essential starting point for this kind of wisdom and for connectedness.

Health, organizational health:

In a nutshell, here is what it is all about:

“What Is Organizational Health?”
by Colin Price on MIXTV – Management Innovation eXchange
Then also go to
This is Colin Price’s page on the MIX. Or, watch and listen to Colin Price,

“Are You Creating a Healthy Organization?”
(http://www.youtube.com/user/mlabvideo#p/search/2/wxWHT5J5ajM) and

“What Do Healthy Companies Do?”
on the MIX’s YouTube channel.

Monkeys and Bananas:

Excellent YouTube clip: Monkeys and Bananas or ‘That’s just the Way It Is’

My take on this clip is that it is a perfect description of the framework that leaders with low EQs create for innovation, engagement and performance in any organization.


MIT Sloan Management Review webcast on sustainability and innovation:

Very interesting one hour webcast with Knut Haanaes, global leader — sustainability initiative for The Boston Consulting Group; Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer at SAP; and Peter M. Senge, senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management. The webcast was moderated by MIT Sloan Management Review editor-in-chief Michael S. Hopkins.

MIT Sloan Management Review, April 28, 2011

Interested in the question where business education might or should be heading? Watch this interview from McKinsey Quarterly:

“Reshaping Business Education in a New Era”

McKinsey Quarterly editor Allen Webb talks with Blair Sheppard, dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

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